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Bukas galing, balik kilkil: Reds poised to step up extortion activities with milling season opening

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BACOLOD CITY – The local Communist Party of the Philippines is poised to step up its “extortion activities and atrocities” through its armed wing, the New People’s Army, with the opening of the milling season in Negros island.

Army Brigadier General Benedict Arevalo said it is a “probability” that the Maoist rebels are preparing to scale up their military operations after soldiers of the 94th Infantry Battalion clashed with at least 20 suspected guerrillas of the NPA in Manjuyod town, Thursday.

COMRADES IN ARMS. Two Red fighters of the New People’s Army with ammo watches a cultural presentation during celebrations for the founding of the Communist Party of the Philippines more than a decade ago in Negros island, Philippines. This was originally shot using colored film. | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles
COMRADES IN ARMS. Two Red fighters of the New People’s Army with ammo watches a cultural presentation during celebrations for the founding of the Communist Party of the Philippines more than a decade ago in Negros island, Philippines. This was originally shot using colored film. | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

The gunbattle that lasted under an hour took place in the upland sub-village of Cabangahan, Bantolinao village.

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The 94th is the newest maneuver battalion added to the 303rd Infantry Brigade that Arevalo commands.

The taxation activities of the NPA, which the CPP calls as “rebolusyunaryong buhis sa kaaway nga sahi (revolutionary tax on the class enemy)” or RBKS is a “tax” of the CPP in areas it consider to be under its “red political power,” a former regional secretary of the CPP told DNX.

SINGING WARRIORS. Red fighters of the New People’s Army play a guitar and sing revolutionary songs during a celebration of the Communist Party’s founding anniversary in Negros island, Philippines.  The CPP is the political wing of the NPA. This was originally shot using colored film. | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles
SINGING WARRIORS. Red fighters of the New People’s Army play a guitar and sing revolutionary songs during a celebration of the Communist Party’s founding anniversary in Negros island, Philippines. The CPP is the political wing of the NPA. This was originally shot using colored film. | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

However, since 2002, confusions and disagreements occured within the Party itself when all areas covered by sugarcane fields were placed under the jurisdiction of guerrilla fronts and were taken away from the Regional Urban-White Area Committee or RUWAC, an ex-member of RUWAC said.

The most common targets for RBKS are sugarcane planters, local businessmen, even politicians, the source added.

These are “asked,” oftentimes with the threat of military action, to pay in cash the tax calculated by the CPP based on the “taxpayer’s” income, production and political “track record,” among other variables.

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Arevalo said the Brigade had stepped up its operations in preparation for the milling season operations of the NPA.

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Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.

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